The Ormskirk and Bootle Group new Masonic season commenced with its first installation meeting with Aughton Lodge No 7996, held at Ormskirk Masonic Hall and for the evening’s ceremony the lodge was honoured by the presence of Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Robert Wright. Robert was accompanied on the evening by the Ormskirk and Bootle Group Chairman, Frank Umbers, group vice chairman Graham Chambers as well as grand officer Malcolm Alexander and a number of acting Provincial grand officers.
The acting WM and installing master for the evening, Stewart Cranage, warmly welcomed everyone to the installation and proceeded to open the lodge in a calm and dignified manner. Once the lodge’s initial business was completed, Stewart proceeded to open the lodge to the second and third degree. Stewart then asked Malcolm Sandywell to occupy the senior warden’s chair and Edward Harrison to occupy the junior warden chair.
The director of ceremonies, Ian Tupling, entered the room and announced that Robert Wright was without and demanded admission and was duly admitted into the lodge in a possession, accompanied by the grand officers Frank Umbers and Malcolm Alexander and the acting Provincial grand officers Carl Mathews, Russell Skidmore, John Walters, David Scott, Michael Dutton and Thomas Bradfield-Kay. Stewart formally welcomed Robert to the lodge, before offering him the gavel, which Robert graciously declined.
Master elect, Gordon Johnson. was then presented to the lodge by Ian Tupling, After Gordon had taken his obligation, Stewart on behalf of the outgoing WM, James Carrie, thanked the brethren for all their support and hard work during his year in office. Stewart then installed Gordon into the chair of King Solomon in a warm and sincere manner. The working tools for the third and second degrees were presented by Derek Westby, with Charles Browne presenting the working tools for the first degree; all in an excellent and proficient manner. While Gordon was investing his officers the address to the charity steward was given by the group festival representative, Malcolm Sandywell and the address to the deacons by Tom Bradfield-Kay.
Once Gordon had invested his officers for the forthcoming year, the address to WM was given by Derek, followed by the address to the wardens by Malcolm Sandywell and the address to the brethren by Robert Wright, again all the addresses were delivered faultlessly and in a proficient manner.
The ceremony being completed, Robert stood up and brought the personal greetings and congratulations to Gordon from the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison on attaining the chair. Robert also congratulated all those that had taken part in the ceremony, in particular mentioning the excellent and sincere installation undertaken by Stewart assisted by DC Ian, the ADC John Wootton and the other installing officers.
The ceremony now being completed, Gordon presented Robert with seven cheques, £1,200 for the MCF 2021 Fund, £100 for the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, £175 to the Friends of Tithebarn, £200 to the Ormskirk Masonic Hall, £275 to the Salvation Army, £275 to the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, £275 to Macmillan Cancer Support, totalling £2,500 to charities. Robert on behalf of the recipients thanked the lodge for their very generous and worthy donations.
Following the meeting the brethren retired to the festive board to conclude an excellent evening.